Slovakia and Estonia will probably be the only economies among the 17 members of the eurozone to record growth in 2012, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro Olli Rehn stated on Thursday, February 23.
While the European Commission expects a fall in GDP (averaging -0.3 percent) across the eurozone, Slovakia and Estonia can expect 1.2-percent growth in 2012. Across the entire 27-member EU, where GDP is expected to remain broadly unchanged, Slovakia and Estonia are forecast to occupy joint sixth place in GDP growth in 2012, after Poland (2.5 percent), Lithuania (2.3 percent), Latvia (2.1 percent), Romania (1.6 percent) and Bulgaria (1.4 percent).
The prognosis for Slovakia notes that the country benefited from stronger-than-expected fourth quarter growth in 2011 (0.9 percentage points higher than the EC's expectations). However, the latest prognoses of industrial production and construction indicate a slight drop in 2012, the TASR newswire wrote. This deterioration will be largely due to the overall situation in the region, given that as much as 80 percent of Slovakia's exports got to EU markets. Meanwhile, the EC expects inflation in Slovakia in 2012 to be 1.9 percent, according to the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP). Inflation averaged 4.1 percent in 2011.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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